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Dairy cows help produce enough electricity to power 150 homes

MILWAUKEE, Wis., Nov. 2, 2000—Wisconsin Electric has reached an agreement with Ag Environmental Solutions, LLC to purchase renewable electricity generated from a manure digester facility located at Tinedale Farms, of Wrightstown, Wis. The facility is already under construction and will be owned and operated by Ag Environmental Solutions, LLC.

The farm has about 1,800 dairy cows. As the waste from the cows decomposes, it releases methane biogas. The manure digester will capture the gas and use it to fuel a small power plant that will produce 750 kilowatts; enough to power about 150 homes.

“I really like the fact that this is green energy,” said Carl Theunis of Tinedale Farms. “Farmers know first-hand how important it is to take care of the environment. Many are operating multi-generational farms and want to protect the land and resources for the next generation. Green power revenue will enable agriculture to invest in technology to further enhance environmental stewardship.”

The facility should be producing electricity by March of 2001 with future expansion possible. Tinedale Farms is located at 2768 Poplar St. in Wrightstown, just outside of Kaukauna.

“This plant is a win for everyone,” said Kris Krause, Wisconsin Energy Corp. vice president of Environmental. “Methane is twenty times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. This is also an opportunity to support family farms in our state.”

This manure digester will be a different technology than the one near Bonduel, Wis. that they announced in May. The first of its kind in the state, the Bonduel plant has generated widespread praise from environmental groups and government for its ability to turn animal waste into green energy.

Wisconsin Electric Power Co., a subsidiary of Wisconsin Energy Corp., provides electric, natural gas and/or steam service to about 2.4 million people in southeastern Wisconsin (including the Milwaukee area), the Appleton area, the Prairie du Chien area, and portions of northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Visit the company’s Web site at www.wisconsinelectric.com.